Cheap Eats 2007: Guajillo

An ambient din gives this Mexican restaurant the feel of an ongoing house party for Clarendon’s young and restless. Color-splashed walls add to the festive mood, as do the tart margaritas and warm house-made chips for dipping in salsa. The enchiladas, burritos, and tacos are all satisfying, but the regional Mexican dishes are what make Guajillo distinctive.

Ceviche, more like a lime-infused shrimp cocktail, is punctuated with hunks of avocado and tomato. Chipotle chilies give zip to cornmeal tamales. A nicely seared chicken breast gets a spill of velvety chocolate-spiked mole.

The flavors are bright and true, and it’s hard not to catch the festive spirit. After a couple of margaritas, the puffy white clouds painted on the ceiling seem to be drifting by.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.